Listening To Your Body

by Renée Canada

With the multiple, daily episodes making stone slabs out of my muscles, I decided it was time to start treating my body with more love. A couple weeks ago, I got my first massage in about two years (had it really been that long?) My wonderful bodyworker Deanna, who has grown used to the ebbs and flows of my body over the more than six years that I’ve been seeing her, was of course concerned by the changes going on with my health.


Deanna, a true master of energy healing, began the massage, as always, by cradling the sacrum, or tailbone, and moving her hands lightly over my lower body. “I’m feeling a really deep spasm in your sacrum,” she said. “Do you feel anything–” She broke off when she looked up at my head and saw my face contorting into the painful twisting of my jaw and cheek muscle contractions. “Wow,” she said. “I didn’t even realize you were going through an episode until I looked up at your face. But I could feel both your legs strongly pulling to the left.”

In just a few moments, she seemed to have figured out the connection between my facial muscle contortions and the weakness of the tailbone I sometimes feel that leads to total loss of strength in my legs, resulting in me either walking the funky chicken or falling in a heap on the floor. For several days after the massage, I felt as if my muscles had loosened up a bit and even when I had the episodes, I was able to release out of them more quickly and much less painfully.

Feeling energized and armed with a new sense of hope after realizing once again I would have to look outside Western medicine for ways to treat this mysterious disorder, I started getting back into doing more hard-core yoga. I’ve been stretching and strengthening my body along with Namaste Yoga on FitTV.


Now I usually detest doing yoga workouts along with a video. The teachers always go too fast, assuming you know all the poses from the start, and it feels like their sole purpose is to show off, not to help you experience any of the benefits of yoga for yourself. Namaste Yoga felt different from day one. The lead instructor started off slowly enough that you could manipulate your body into a posture before moving into the next one. Once she felt you had mastered a sequence, then she moved faster and/or added more challenging poses.

Instead of feeling defeated by yoga, I have been feeling rejuvenated and strengthened by it. I always find myself looking forward to the next episode’s challenges. While it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me especially, it’s been both a boost to my mental attitude as well as a wonderful way to help my body cope and relax more when facing the physical tension of an episode. I am constantly reminding myself: Don’t forget to breathe.

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